Indirect Discourse, Relativism, and Contexts That Point to Other Contexts

In François Recanati, Isidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.), Context-dependence, Perspective and Relativity in Language and Thought. Mouton de Gruyter. 6--283 (2010)
Some expressions, such as “all” and “might”, must be interpreted differently, relative to a single context, when embedded under “says that” than when unembedded. Egan, Hawthorne and Weatherson have appealed to that fact to argue that utterance-truth is relative to point of evaluation. This paper shows that the phenomena do not warrant this relativistic response. Instead, contexts may be defined as entities that assign other contexts to contextually relevant people, and context-relative truth conditions for indirect discourse sentences can be satisfactorily formulated in terms of such contexts.
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